tv Justice Elena Kagan CSPAN August 29, 2011 11:35pm-12:45am EDT
we have to make sure that these efforts at reconciliation is reconciled with the good part of having -- municipalities and villages. >> i think we will have to end there, but thank you very much. thank you karim, daniel, and peter for a good discussion. we will take a break of a couple of minutes. you can stretch and we will bring the second panel up here promptly. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> in a few months -- in a few
moments, comments by rick perry, who ron paul, and thaddeus mccotter. several events to tell you about fort tomorrow, including a speech to the american legion national convention in minneapolis at noon eastern. at 1:00 p.m., labor secretary solis will be at the national press club. at 3:00 p.m., the atlantic council hosts a discussion on the training of afghan security forces. ♪
obama may have inherited a bad economy, but he has made it worse. later, you will hear from other candidates, ron paul from texas and thaddeus mccotter. [applause] >> good afternoon. >> i know this is unusual. you will understand in a minutes. before we get going, i have to do something. if you'll just bear with me for a moment, i would appreciate it. veterans.
he is also a craftsman. he wrote to me and he told me that he wanted to attend today, but he does not get out very much these days. this is what he said. gov. rick perry has got my attention with some of his comments. by the way, governor, this is iowa. i do not know if i am going to support him yet, but i wanted to give him some encouragement as he goes out there on the campaign trail. please give him this 1911 hand carved holster for me.
which i'm about to do. he was a very famous texas lawmen. governor, from one great veteran to another, that is for you. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is named after the year that it was first made by colt. this as -- this is the centennial year for the 1911. there is a little bit of history for you. perfect. i appreciate that coming from an individual to serve our country. i want to take a moment. i learned to drive on a john deere.
it is made right up here in iowa. god bless john deere. they have helped feed the world. we just need a little rain down in texas so we can do our part. the farmers in iowa are doing theirs. god bless them. it is good to be here. it does not make any difference to me whether you were talking -- i feel right at home when you're talking about peppers. it is an honor to be here. it was 12 days ago when i was here. the fare was wide open and there were 100,000 people. there are still a lot of folks here. i love this state and it makes me feel at home.
you all lead the nation and the production of corn and soybeans. you are an impressive number two in wind energy production. the reason why we are number one is because we have more space. i'm not bragging. i get it. growing up on a cotton farm, i know the value of hard work. that is what is reflected here in the state by your citizens. i do not think anyone demonstrate it any better than the folks of iowa. as the governor of the state to is going through a very hard
drought, just as you well work devastated by floods in years past. the outpouring of support from this tiny little town. they have really touched a lot of parts in texas. farmers and church leaders, they have organized the transportation of hay down to texas to give to some cattle ranchers. it did not take a government bureaucrat to make that happen. just generous hearts of people. i want to say thank you to iowa to help you have sent to texas. [applause]
just because you have a good crop going, it does not mean that there are not some iowans that are struggling. since the stimulus package was passed. 5600 manufacturing jobs lost. that is a testament to the widespread misery created by this administration. the state known for feeding the world's has so many residents dependent on government just to pay for their food. the obama administration official, former governor of iowa, he recently referred to food stamps as an economic stimulus.
food stamps are not the solution. they are a symptom of the problem that too many people are without work. food stamps did not stimulate the economy. they stimulate government dependents. most americans do not yearn to be dependent on government subsidies. they want economic freedom. economic freedom comes from work and wages, not welfare. since the time i was old enough to drive the tractor, i knew that the american way was not about empowering government, it was about empowering people. that is the american way. [applause] today's leaders see it differently, though. to be fair, president obama did inherit a bad economy. to this fault, he made it worse.
he delivered a trickle down bureaucracy, spending close to $800 million of stimulus that trickled down for the bureaucracy to handpicked industries to create temporary jobs. instead of eliminating our economic crisis, he worse in debt. instead of addressing the debt, he exploited it. he promised lower employment at this particular point in his presidency. one in six work-eligible americans cannot find a full- time job. that is not an economic recovery, mr. president. that is an economic disaster. it is time for change. i am not talking about the rhetoric of change, i am talking about the record of change. i have that record. if you look at the state of
texas, we are where we are by keeping taxes low, cutting spending, making sure that regulations are fair and stopping frivolous lawsuits. we just passed a loser pays program in the state of texas to add to our substantial tort reform. our economy is responsible for 40% of all the jobs created in america since june of 2009. think about that. 40% of all the jobs created were in one state. some would say, you have been creating jobs for 20 years. that is true. as paul harvey might say, let's get to the rest of the story. the rest of the story is this. under the two governors before me, texas didn't create jobs.
the entire nation was creating jobs in the 1990's. since i've become governor, texas has created more than 1 million jobs while the rest of the country lost 2.5 million. the difference is, we were not writing an american wave of prosperity. we were swimming against the current. the point is not to brag. the point is to say, as a nation, we can, we must do better. when i am president, we will. it is up to this generation of americans to stand for freedom. to send a message to washington, d.c., that we are taking our future back from the grips of the central planners who are controlling our health care, spending our treasure,
downgrading our future, and micromanaging our lives. we have had enough. it is time to limit and simplify taxes. we have to stop spending money that we do not have. we have to repeal this president's misguided one size fits all health care plan. we will create jobs. we will educate and innovate in science and technology and engineering to create the jobs and the progress that is needed to get america working again. i promise you this. i will work every day to make washington d.c., as inconsequential in your life as i can.
i promise you that. i believe in america. i believe in her promise. i believe her best days are still in front of us. i believe our children are still yet to write the great story about this country. with your help on the courage of the american people, we will get our country working again. god bless you. thank you for being with us today.
♪ >> polk county also heard from ron paul. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. it is so nice to see this large crowd. such a friendly crowd. i am delighted to be here. it was mentioned, there you go, that is a little better. it was mentioned a minute ago by simon that about 48% of the american people are not paying
taxes. nearly half of the people are not paying income taxes. we are halfway there, that was my response. that has been one of my goals. i am pretty old-fashioned on some of the things, like the constitution. if we had people in washington that only voted for bills that were constitutionally correct, we would not need -- we would not need an income tax. you do not need all of that money. we would not be the policeman of the world. that is my ideal. that is my goal. i do not talk a lot about flat taxes and sales taxes and the different ways. i want a flat tax, but i want it very flat. not only getting rid of the income tax, but our goal should be even more easily achievable. i do not think we should have an inheritance tax on all. we should repeal that.
[applause] our problem is government is too big. as government gets bigger, your personal liberties are diminished. there is no way that you can escape it. if you deliver to the government the responsibility to take care of the economy and to be the policeman of the world, you cannot do that without high taxation. taxation is a symptom of what the people's appetite is for government. for us to change what is happening in washington, the people have to change their appetite for government. if you believe in the entitlement system and you believe that we have to be in 130 countries and fight endless wars, you have to have high taxation. taxes are so high that it does not even pay the bills. we live within our means, then we borrow, then we cannot borrow any more. what we do?
we invent this really ridiculous idea, when we are short money, print it. this is why the federal reserve system and the monetary system has to be addressed if you want to address the subject of big government. my position is loud and clear. we do not need a federal reserve system. we need a gold standard for our money. [applause] if we have a government that honored that, government would be limited in size because if the federal reserve could not print money, interest rates would go up and congress would have to cut back spending. it would be self regulating. unfortunately, we do not have that. we left the gold standard in 1971. if you look at any economic charge from 1971 on, economic growth has been diminished, deficits each year are huge, the entitlement system is
bigger than ever. it is a result of no restraints. the appetite for spending is endless. unfortunately, we as members of congress, have been rewarded for it because -- guess what, we live in a different world today. it is a different world for everybody is challenging the entitlement system. i challenge the entitlement system, on principle. i did not believe entitlements are right and we have to get back to understanding what our rights are. you have a right to your life, your liberty. people who claim they are entitled to something does not mean they have a right to what you earn. [applause] i have talked a lot about foreign policy. i will not talk so much about it tonight.
foreign policy is very important. there is a lot of spending an aunt. there are some basic principles that we should adhere to. i resent the fact that we go to war without your permission. the constitution is clear. we go to war with a declaration. the congress gets behind it and the people get behind it. you know with the enemy is. you get it over with and you do not drag it out for ten or 20 years. [applause] the other thing i resent is the method that we go to war. we did not even ask the congress anymore. we ask the united nations. and then we get a resolution. then we go to nato and nato organizes. we become marching troops for nato. i do not believe that we should be in the united nations.
we have been careless with that for a long time, ever since world war ii. this libya is an affront to our dignity. we went to war there with the president flaunting and saying, i do not need to talk to you. not even a token resolution. the congress has not stood up to the president. the president goes to war and says, no big deal. i get my orders from nato. if we knew and understand -- understood what national sovereignty meant, we would not succumb to this. we would not allow this to happen. we would act within the confines of the constitution. i blame the lack of respect for
the constitution on almost everything. getting back to a dignified economy and common-sense, while we just obey the constitution once again? that would solve some of our problems. -- that would solve so many of our problems. the things that we are not allowed to do is express -- and they are expressed in the ninth and 10th amendments. those powers and rights of a given to the government, if they are not given to the government, they are left to the states. the state's need to express themselves and to say that they have a responsibility. we should not be a reference to the federal government all the
time. what about education? how long have we been deferring to the federal government about education? did we amend the constitution? we just started doing it. we should say something. we do not need a department of education. we need to take care of our schools by ourselves. [applause] we have a lot of problems. i have a lot of goals. some people said they are idealistic. if you do not have ideals, you are not going to go very far. the most responsible thing would be for parents to be responsible for the education in the local communities. that is what should be done. [applause] we really do not need a department of education.
if you are looking for places to cut, we could start with the department of education and a few other departments that we do not need. [applause] when you look at these problems, it is always good to be able to if you cannot change it, the monetary system is a mess, people should have the right to opt out. today, if you use gold and silver as legal tender, the federal government can accuse you of terrorism and counterfeiting. the counterfeiters are all the federal reserve. [applause] i would like to legalize your constitutional right to use gold and silver as money. if you like the paper money, keep using it. if you think that you should use honest money, use gold and silver. you can do that for education as well. we have a monstrosity of a bureaucracy controlling education at the federal level.
hiring thousands of bureaucrats and millions of dollars. we always have to argue the case for opting out. that means we should never allow government to encroach upon your rights to do home schooling and private schooling. [applause] in medicine, yes, i would like to opt out of obama-care. i would like to get rid of the obama-care. you ought to be able to opt out of the whole system. why don't we put our money in and pay our own bills and get our tax deduction and by a major medical policy and what the government stay out of our lives? [applause] i would like to see the day it when the government stays out of relies and out of our wallets. we would all be better off if we had a government like that.
we are in big trouble right now. financial trouble. it was predictable. the austrian free-market economists had predicted this for a long time. timing is something harder to predict. if you print a lot of money, the value of that currency is going to go down. it is going down more rapidly than it has in many years. the real danger that we face today is the fact that we could have runaway inflation. yes, the entitlements will not be paid and there will be anger and demonstrations on the street. on the way inflation is very dangerous. that is a political crisis. sweeney debt address the subject of the deficit and debt and the spending and all that we do. when you have chaos, what happens is people are too
anxious. i have come to the conclusion that sacrificing your liberty to be more safe does not work. he sacrificed it, but you are never more safe. we need to protect our liberties. that is what our goal should be. [applause] one of the responsibilities of the federal government, one of the major responsibilities is national defence. given us a sound currency and an economic system that provides the opportunity and a chance free to take care of yourself. we need to reemphasize this like we have never emphasized it before. we have to know what we believe them. we cannot say, we want a little bit of freedom here and think that is gone to work. we have to know what our goal is. the purpose of all political action should be the protection of liberty. not for running your life, not for running the economy. a president or a congress does
not know how to run the economy. they do not know how you should spend your money. they do not know what your spiritual values are. the government should not be involved in that. the sooner we learned that lesson, the faster we can shrink this budget. if we get into a situation where there is chaos, i am afraid to many people say, we want order. the best quarter in a free society, and the only way you can be protected, is not by having more police them. not by having more federal agents with guns. through are all illegal, anyway. you need a firm understanding and a conviction on how the second amendment works to protect you in a physical manner. [applause] a lot of people are discouraged and die at discouraging news for you, generally. but there is a lot of good news out there.
a lot of people are paying attention to what this country is all about. what made us great, what made us a prosperous? by taxation is wrong. people are thinking about it. the young people are talking about this and very interested. studying austrian economics. understanding why we should not have a federal reserve system and why the constitution is so important. that is where i get my encouragement. i believe that people are thinking this way because now it is down to only 17% that believe our federal government is acting within the confines of what they're permitted to do. the very large majority are disgusted with it and they are looking for answers. we tested them for a couple of hundred years. for the last 80 years, we have allowed it to slip. we have lost our determination
to study and understand how free markets work. people give us a bad rap. the conservatives and the constitutionalist republicans. we did a bad rap because they say we do not care. we do not have any compassion, we do not care about our fellow man. the truth is, if you are truly compassionate, you will always opt for the free market and freedom and property rights. look at history. the prosperity has always, the greater freedom. we have had the greatest freedom and we have the greatest prosperity. guess what? it is going downhill. these last 10 years have been bad news for us. it has been bad news. we have not created any real jobs in the past 10 years and we have accumulated all of this debt. it is coming to an end. what are going to do about it? are we going to reinstate these values? and say that we should not give up on this experiment? if you look at all of history,
all of history, and it has been occupied by dictators. authoritarians and kings and paris. -- pharoahs. yet we have the test. it was wonderful. we are allowing it to slip from our figures unless we make a declaration that we do truly believe in freedom. that is what the goal should be. that is what you should do politically. strive for those values. do not allow this to leave us. the opportunity is there because the need is there. four years ago, six years ago, 20 years ago, the attention has been minimal. today, there is a lot more attention. i givet so much that better speeches. there is a greater need. people are realizing the system we have to date is not working. even those who have been on the receiving end are getting worried. how are they going to get your
money if you do not have jobs? there is a lot of concern and that means there are a lot of opportunities. we do have the answers. our party has traditionally stood for these values. we have to restate those principles and stick to them. there is no reason why we have to continue to go downhill. there is every reason to believe that if we did the right thing, it would not take long, we could get on our feet in no time. if we do not restore our liberties, we are in big trouble. it may take a lot longer. thank you very much for coming today and allow me to speak. it was great visiting with you. i will see you on another day. thank you. >> thaddeus mccotter also spoke to polk county republicans. this is a little more than 10 minutes. >> thank you for that kind introduction. for once again proving that rock-and-roll does not pay. [laughter]
great to be back here at the state fair grounds as well. the last time here, i was out on a soapbox and i was discovering such exotic bemusement as fried butter on a stick. peopleso learned that are very concerned about their future. that is why, for the first time in my life, when i arrived at a republican event, i was given a bodyguard. erick, where are you? there is my bodyguard. >> yay, erick. >> when he introduced himself to me, i said, you are my bodyguard? dude, i am from detroit. [laughter] who is going to protect you from me? it is great to be here. despite the difficult times in which we find ourselves, we embrace the challenges before
us. just as the party of lincoln embraced the challenges that were born in civil war. to support union and the emancipation. just as the republican party in 1980 came together in the midst of a cold war to support liberty and prosperity. and the end of an evil empire. today, the challenges we face are equally daunting to some, namely those who believe that only government can solve our problems. we know better. we understand the democratic party is not progressive. the democratic party is regressive. [applause] this country was founded as a revolutionary experiment and liberty and self-government.
the future of this country remains liberty and self- government. when the democratic party tells you that your decision and your property and your liberty must continue to be housed within a large mass of imploding federal welfare state, we tell them no. that is the politics and the policies of the past. when you look around the world, you live amidst a communications revolution, one which is empowering.. you can go home tonight and at your laptop computer, you can seek information from anywhere in the world. you are no longer bound by mainstream networks or a handful of newspapers. you can go home tonight and after laptop computer, you can order a good or service anywhere in the world.
you are no longer bound by how far your car can drive or what the mail might bring you. you can go home tonight and use your laptop computer to spread the message of the republican party, of our optimistic view over the country is going to go. you can send it to your friends. you can send it to your family. you can send it around the world. in short, we live in a world where you would not allow the federal government to tell you what to put on your facebook page. you would not let the federal government tell you what to tweet. you would not allow the federal government to tell you how to run your life. or what to put on your ipod. why would anyone let the federal government tell them who
their doctor could be? why would anyone of the federal government continue to foster regulations that destroyed the capacity of the united states in a time of recession? why would anybody go from a citizen-driven future back to the failed politics of jimmy carter? the answer is, we will not. [applause] we will restructure a government for the 21st century to make it smaller, more accountable, more flat. our democratize the economy is. the federal government cannot operate as it did in the year of my birth, 1965. no individual, no business can operate as if this was 46 years ago and expected be viable in the 21st century.
we must use the principles of lincoln and reagan in restructuring this government. as a compassionate nation, we understand the need for a social safety nets. we understand the morality of helping those who cannot help themselves. we understand the morality of helping those who are struggling to get back to the dignity of self-reliance. what we will never accept is the welfare state that takes individuals who are self- reliant and times them to become dependent upon government and the redistribution of other people's wealth. that is unjust. [applause] restructuring government to get this economy going is not the only challenge we face. we have to be willing to accept that the same big government
that bailed out the big wall street banks is the central problem facing our economy today. we experienced the greatest credit contraction since the great depression. this is not the fault of community banks. it is not the fault of credit unions. which are being punished as if they cause the problem. it is the fault of the individuals who brought our economy to the precipice of ruin. in michigan, we understand the need for credit, the need for capital to produce wealth and put products into the marketplace. we must be willing to take on the big failed wall street banks so they are forced to recapitalize. they are no longer subsidized by ben bernanke on this federal reserve board. if we do this, we will continue with tax reform and regulatory
reform. when you match those reforms with the creative genius of the american people, you will see a period of unprecedented prosperity that will not only did this out of this economic stagnation, it will lay the foundation for america to remain the world's leading economic engine in the 21st century. [applause] finally, we must also defend america from our enemies. we understand peace through strength must be matched with the capabilities of the united states to have any merit and receive respect and the world. we understand the united states cannot turn around to the people of afghanistan and
abandon them to their fate. we must continue to work with them and trusted commanders on the ground, protect the fragile gains and the harvard and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform said that america keeps her word so that those people have a chance for liberty. and so our problems do not follow us home. as we learned from lincoln, those who seek to ensure liberty for themselves must extend liberty to others. if we fail in that mission, we will fail. we will do no favors and no honor to the men and women in uniform who have given some much to make this possible. i would like to end on an optimistic note.
i have no doubt that despite these difficult times, it will be a hard road to a better day, but we will get there. as americans, we have always done so. while there are doubts about the virtues nature of our free people, we are not the problem. the problem is a big government that believes that it knows how to live your lives. but the reality is this. despite president obama talking about all the horrible interest groups that are holding america back, he left one out. i would like to remind him. the most powerful special interest in the world is a big government. president obama is its lobbyist. [applause] in 2012, with your support, with the support of the
american people, we will ensure that big government's lobbyist has all the time that he wants to vacation on martha's vineyard. [applause] and it will happen. regardless of whether i am the nominee. or someone like governor perry. our party will come together and we willreject the democrat'' new norm of america mediocrity. we will not cede the 21st century to european socialism. as republicans, as americans, we will guarantee that the 21st century is one of the american freedom and we will remain a purposeful republic that does not exist to emulate the world.
it exists to inspire the world. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> watch more than video of the candidates, see what political reporters are saying. track the latest campaign contributions would c-span's website for campaign 2012. it helps you navigate the political landscape. the latest polling data plus links to c-span media partners in the early primary and caucus states, all let c-span.org /campaign2012. >> in a few moments, a forum on jobs and social justice posted by the afl-cio and the martin luther king, jr. center.
in about an hour and a half, a council discussion on the implications of the libyan rebellion. after that, from the irish parliament, debate over a recent report on allegations that the catholic church was -- mishandled childhood sexual abuse cases for more than 10 years. on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, we will expand -- we will examine the damage caused by hurricane irene. our guest is the president of the insurance information institute. all washington post reporter will discuss the extension of the keystone pipeline. our series on the weather begins with the head of the university of maryland's help and homeland security center. "washington journal" is live on
>> now symposium on jobs and social justice hosted by the afl-cio and the martin luther king jr. center for this 40- minute portion includes remarks from richard trumka, martin luther king but third, and john lewis. >> feeling pretty good, as we started to say earlier. things are in flux and the city because of the postponement of the march. and the unveiling. we are going on and i am so happy that everybody is here. you evidently got your tweet and your e-mails. good morning. i am arlene holt-baker. i an executive vice president here at the afl and cio. on behalf of the secretary treasury here, we want to welcome all of you to the house
of labor this morning. [applause] we are so excited for those of you that are in the room. as you know, this is also being a web cast, we are on c-span. we absolutely thank all of those who are participating. this has been an historic week in washington, d.c., in many ways. as we all know, the unveiling of the martin luther king, jr. memorial has been postponed. the eastern seaboard is in the path of hurricane irene. natural disasters, brothers and sisters, we cannot control. but it is the man-made disasters, that we have the power to change their direction if we so choose. we are reminded on this day of that march on washington 48 years ago when dr. martin
luther king, jr. moved our people and our nation to embrace his dream of america, and a dream that he it and -- a dream that he and the african american labor leader a developer randolph shared. [applause] when we began talking about coasting aid jobs and justice -- call hosting a jobs and justice symposium during this week, we knew that we wanted to highlight the needs of america's struggling families, the families that dr. king devoted his life to fighting for. we wanted to hear from those who are unemployed, but want to work. hear from academics who study the effects of economic and social injustice on all of our community. and you're from students who dare to dream. hear from workers who want
justice and a voice at work. and you're from civil-rights legends you have devoted their lives in search of the american dream. for months now, the lives of millions of americans have been shaken up by the economic uncertainty. just as our nation's capital literally shook this week, we hope that the discussions like the one we will have today will shape -- will shake our elected officials to move with boldness and a fierce urgency. we call on our leaders to respond to the desperate cries of the people for jobs and justice. today, many wonder where we will go from here. a renewed sense of movement and unity.
blacks and whites, young and old, workers and the unemployed. it is up to us whether we choose chaos or community. i would like to welcome martin luther king iii and the co-host of today's symposium. he has taken the torch from his father and has got around the nation with a message of hope and stability. he believes that we must choose the beloved community over chaos. martin luther king iii.
[applause] >> good morning. let me thank god for the wonderful opportunity to be back at the afl-cio national headquarters. first to the president, richard trumka. thank you for your warm introduction, arlene holt-baker. and to the secretary treasurer. elizabeth schuler, i apologize. and also to moderators, the reverend jackson -- i am sure that i am going to miss somebody.
i attribute that to my head, and not my heart. and also my dear wife. our king center staff that is here. and friends. it is a great pleasure to join you this morning in this symposium on jobs, justice, and the american dream. you might remember that at the time of my father's passing, he and his team were mobilizing for the poor people's campaign to bring together blacks and whites and native americans to say to our nation's policy makers that we demand the right to decent jobs and decent pay. in 1968, as they were mobilizing, he was talking about a living wage. we are still trying to get the minimum wage adjusted properly.
it shows how far we still have to go. it is also providential that this is perhaps the last official act that i am going to be involved in before the dedication that was to have taken place on sunday. the memorial, some could say that it is an idol. the idolize dr. king. there really is about working to not idolize him, but to embrace his ideals. this is the work that we are talking about today. i do not see it as-that the -- as negative that the dedication is postponed. i see it as we are here to do the work that still must be done
to continue what martin luther king, jr. represented. [applause] i must thank first the president and the afl-cio for hosting this symposium. most importantly, for the dedicated leadership you provide for american workers. i must express my heartfelt gratitude to the executive vice president arlene holt-baker, in particular, for her creative vision and energetic leadership for putting a symposium together. [applause] it is certainly one of the most substantive and relevant programs leading not -- or i should say -- i was going to say leading up to the dedication
of the memorial. that is going to happen. until recently, i thought that the king holiday would always be the highest honor commemorating my father's leadership. but having a major memorial honoring him on the national mall will underscore his place in history and amplify his influence on the coming generations. technically and theoretically, congress may one day choose to change the king holiday to human rights day. we do not know. as long as this civilization exist, as long as our nation's capital exists, as long as we are a democratic society, there will be a martin luther king, jr. memorial on the mall. [applause] my father is widely remembered for his i have a dream speech.
the theme of that great march on washington. two parties that remain -- two priorities that remain absolutely critical for our hopes of fulfilling that dream. i want everyone to know that martin luther king, jr. was also a champion of the american labor movement. this memorial honors an american leader who lost it his life in a labor union struggle and strongly supported unions as a central part of the quest for economic justice. when he addressed the illinois afl-cio convention in 1965, he said the labor union was the principal force that transformed despair into hope and progress. everywhere he went during the civil-rights movement, he welcomed the support of unions. he knew they were essential for
winning the war on poverty. he often spoke about the critical importance of job training and job security unions provided. he was concerned about job loss to nations where workers had few rights. my father challenged organized labor in the civil rights movement to work together to bring about a society in which working people of all races could prosper. as he said in his speech, the two most dynamic movements that shape the nation during the past three elected -- decades are the labor and civil rights movement. our combined strength is enormous if our two movements unite. 30 years from now, people will look back on this day and honor those who had the vision to see
the full possibilities of modern society and the courage to fight for their realization. on that date, the brotherhood of man will be a thrilling and creative reality, he said. after he was assassinated, my mother picked up the torch of public workers' rights in memphis, and helped to lead the campaign to organize hospital workers in charleston, south carolina. she supported dozens of unions, organizing campaigns. she also served as the active national co-chair of the full employment action council, meeting with every united states senator in support of jobs. she called for full employment and economic justice.
it is a family tradition that i intend to keep for the rest of my days. [applause] economic injustice is even more of a concern today. we are witnessing a widening gap between the rich and poor. making matters worse, the political guardians of the rich are not only refusing modest tax increases, they are demanding even more tax benefits for the top earners. if we have to fill the streets with nonviolent protesters like our sisters and brothers have done, i assure you that we will do that. [applause]
we have suffered great setbacks in recent years, with the uprising of working men and women in wisconsin, indiana, and ohio, which signals the great rebirth, our great hope for real and lasting change. i believe we can adopt the traditions that animated the movements in the 20th century to forge a vibrant, new spirit of militancy and a culture of organizing and powered by the latest communications technology, so let us link arms as brothers and sisters, united and determined to put an end to the war against workers and the unjust harassment of latino workers and their families. let's join forces with an unshakable spirit of solidarity for jobs and economic justice. let's reach out to one another and build a great, multi- cultural coalition on a scale never before seen in this nation. let's served notice that we're
not going to be discouraged by political obstructionists. we are not going to be deterred by the citizens united decision, and we are not going to be turned around by any detractors, but with our faith in each other and with our shared vision of hope and opportunity and with our irreversible commitment to solidarity, together, we will launch a new weather of -- era of progressive change, in which martin luther king jr.'s dream can become a luminous reality. thank you, and god bless you. [applause]
it is now my pleasure to introduce, actually present, he does not need an introduction, a man who i am proud to call my ally and one of our partners in this movement, a man who has never backed away from the fight for workers' rights, human rights, or civil rights. you can count on him to be in the front lines, marching, and calling us to action around jobs and justice and the american dream, the president of the afl-cio, mr. richard trumka. [applause] >> thank you, martin, for the very kind introduction, but more importantly, so they q4 what you do every day and what the king family does every day. we all owe you and your family a tremendous debt of gratitude, and i just want to say thank you on behalf of all of us on that, and let me say good morning to everyone, and behalf of the unions of the afl-cio and are 12 million members, i want to
welcome you all here today, and i want to take just one moment to give a special welcome to reverend jackson, who has probably stood on as many padilla lines with me as anyone else around when it came to defending justice and standing up for workers' rights. jesse, you have always been there, and i want to say, thank you for all of the things you have done. [applause] 48 years ago this weekend, literally hundreds of thousands of people gathered here in washington to march for jobs and march for freedom. they came at a call of randolph, who was the president of the sleeping car porters and
the vice president of the afl- cio and a truly historic figure in the history of the american labor movement. the buses, the signs, the food were all paid for by working men and women of america and their unions, the distributive union, the packinghouse workers, the united steelworkers, and most of of the united autoworkers. -- mostly all the united autoworkers. -- most of all, the united autoworkers. there is always a temptation at a moment like this to sugarcoat the past, to pretend that everyone was on the right side, that all of us did exactly what we should have done in the way it should have been done. the truth is that that day, the afl-cio building was closed on the day of the march on washington in 1963. the historic fact is that although the afl-cio endorsed the principles behind the march, the federation had not
endorsed the march itself, even the major unions of the afl-cio were making the very march possible. martin luther king jr. often said it was not just african- americans who needed to be freed from the burdens of racism. the labor movement is rightfully proud of all working people did it to help the civil rights movement, but we do not often enough that knowledge of what the civil rights movement did to free the american labor movement, because -- [applause] as we learned, and i learned particularly in the united mine workers even long before i was born, if workers let racism divide us, we will always be weak.
so today, our doors are wide open, and it is both with humility and pride that we welcome all of you to the house of labor. we have assembled this morning an extraordinary panel to address the continuing struggle to make real in america division and the values of dr. king. so as we gather to dedicate the king memorial, far too many of us lack of jobs and freedom. unemployment is still over 9%. twice, twice what it was in 1963. in state after state, powerful political forces are organizing to revive the poll tax and literacy tests under other names, to place obstacles in the wake of americans from participating in democracy. today, the americans
legislative exchange council and some brokers are working feverishly to under the voting rights act, the act that truly made america and democracy in all 50 states. in 1965, when john lewis crossed the bridge in selma, alabama, seeking the right to vote for all americans, those same koch brother dollars were finding the john birch society opposition to -- funding the john birch society opposition to the voting rights act. you know, we have a saying in the labor movement. which side are you on? well, too many who have the funds and the power to influence american leaders -- in fact, some of those leaders themselves have taken the wrong side in american history, the side of slavery, the side of segregation, the side of